Motorized Bicycles For Getting Fit and Going Places
Are Motorized Bicycles Right For You?
If you're searching for a form of transportation that's economical, environmentally friendly, fun, and practical, then motorized bicycles might be something you should consider.
Motorized bicycles could be gas powered or electric. However, in most instances these bicycles are battery operated, electric models. They are quieter, more economical, and certainly a more eco-conscious choice.
Whether you are fit but wanting a little power to help you with longer commutes, big hill climbs, and so forth, or you want to be able to pedal your way to the store without using a car or starting a major fitness program, these bikes provide fun and practical solutions. Learn more about them here and see some popular models on this page.
The Advantages of Motorized Bicycles
Most motorized bicycles are electric, so with this in mind, these bicycles are great for a number of reasons:
- They save energy.
An electric motorized bicycle consumes no gasoline or other fuel. Most use advanced lithium batteries that provide the longest possible charge after a few hours of being plugged into a traditional household outlet.
- They are emission/pollution free.
An electric bikes generate no fumes, toxic emissions, and so forth. They are easy on the environment. This is especially true if the power to your home is wind or solar generated. These bicycles generally charge from any regular outlet in your home or office.
- They are quiet.
The motors on these bicycles are generally much quieter than a gasoline powered engine.
- They allow you to get to your destination quickly and easily.
If you have a long commute, you'll arrive without exhausting yourself. You can handle hills and other challenging terrain without extra effort. Even casual riders can maintain 15 to 20 miles per hour easily.
- They allow you to increase your activity level.
Riders can choose to pedal, pedal with motor assistance, or rely totally on the motor. In all cases, they allow you to get out and get moving at whatever level is appropriate for your fitness level.
- They are economical.
Operating costs are minimal. It costs pennies a day (approximately 10 cents) to keep your electric motorized bicycle charged. Many batteries have to be replaced only every few years when properly charged. See more about the costs of replacing spent batteries below.
Choosing a Motorized Bike
There are a number of things to consider when buying an electric motorized bicycle. Certainly, just as with traditional bikes, you want to determine which style and size is right for you. Some people prefer the step through frames as they can be easier to mount without the higher, horizontal bar to clear.
Just like regular bikes, some of these motorized models are designed like a cruiser and perfect for riding on roads and city streets. Others are designed for more rugged, trail use. Tires need to be considered as well. While puncture resistant tires are good and a wide tire can add stability, they can make pedaling on roadways a bit harder due to increased resistance.
Full suspension, shock absorption, and so forth are particularly important in rugged terrain, but a wide, cushioned seat can be really useful even on city streets.
Variable speed control and the ability to switch from motorized operation, to power assist, and even pedal-only gives riders more flexibility. Being able to pedal with the motor on allows you to save on battery power and increase range. It also allows you to get more activity.
The motor, battery type, and size also matter. Lithium ion batteries tend to provide a better life, more range, and are the lightest weight. On the other hand, they are a bit more costly to replace. An Li-Ion battery can cost up to a five hundred dollars. Proper charging will help to assure it lasts for 3 to 5 years. An SLA battery will cost approximately $100 and last 1-3 years.
The battery should be easily removed to allow you to take it indoors to be stored, even if your bike will remain outside. A lockable battery can also prevent theft.
Most manufacturers will also list the expected top speed and the maximum range for each bike. Know your communting distance, but keep in mind that a number of variables will effect range estimates:
- tire inflation
- rider weight
- wind resistance
- motor size and battery
- how much you pedal to assist the motor
A cargo mount can be very useful, but of course if you will need to carry things, additional cargo carrying options are available as well.
Riding Laws and Safety Tips
In the US, electric motorized bicycles are not considered a motor vehicle in most instances due to their limited speed and range. They are considered a traditional bicycle. They are intended for use on roadways and are generally not acceptable on dedicated pedestrian pathways.
State and local laws govern the use of electric bicycles in the US. You can find some of the state specific guidelines in this Wikipedia article.
Bicycle safety laws apply, and of course vary by state.
Maintaining an electric bicycle is paramount in assuring safety. Properly inflated tires, secure spokes, a well charged battery, and so forth are important to check daily or before every use.
EZip motorized bicycles are probably the most economical option for an electric bike. Here you'll find two adult models.
This first model has a step through frame making it easier to mount and dismount. It offfers a 450W DC Earth magnet motor and a 24-volt rechargeable battery that provides a 15+ mile range per charge. It has a top speed of approximately 15 miles per hour and is built to support a weight of 240lbs or less. The battery can be removed, making it easy to charge at home or at the office and it can take a full charge in 4 to 6 hours.
The second bike is an all terrain bike with a sturdy steel frame, 7 gears, and the same battery and motor as described above. It has a UL listed charger with an LED display that lets you know the battery status at any time. Both bikes have the throttle located on the left handlebar.
A Closer Look at the EZip Trailz Motorized Bicycle
R Martin motorized bicycles offer bottom bracket (pedal crank) electric motors. The gears operate along with the motor and provide very high torque for powering up hills in lower gears. With the variable assist motor, riders can pedal as much as or as little as they like. In fact, you can turn off the motor altogether and pedal, just as you would on any traditional bicycle.
These electric bikes will accommodate weights up to 250 lbs. and provide a range of 20-40 miles depending upon terrain, tire inflation, and so forth. There are a variety of models available. These bikes include disc brakes, full suspension, an included charger, and a 10ah battery pack. The lithium battery packets have an expected life of 3 to 5 years.
R Martin offers 3 speed and 7 speed models.
Available in both red and blue, the motorized bicycles from EG Milan are 26" bikes with a 36V 350W brushless electric motor. The 10ah Lithium-Ion Battery is both lockable and removable. They have a 40 mile range and 20mph top end speed.
These bikes can be operated manually, in pedal assist mode (3 power levels) or in full power mode. The frame is constructed of lightweight but sturdy aluminum alloy. It features a premium mountain bike saddle with gel inserts for comfort and a step through frame.
The A2B motorized bicycle is designed for urban and suburban commutes. It has an oversized, comfortable seat and light weight aluminum frame, with a 500W motor and 36V lithium ion battery that can take you 20 miles at speeds around 20 mph. For those with a longer communte, range can be doubled to 40 miles by purchasing an optional 2nd battery.
This is a 7 speed bike with full suspension and 3" wide, thorn resistant tires that make riding smooth, comfortable, and fun.
A Closer Look at the A2B Motorized Bicycle
These 26" motorized bicycles from Urban Mover provide the power assist you want to make commutes easy. They are available in the women's, step through frame, and the men's style as well. These moutain bikes features a 250W brushless hub motor and 26V 9Ah advanced Panasonic lithium battery. It allows even casual riders to maintain a 12-18 mile per hour speed almost effortlessly.
The frame is made of a lightweight, double heat-treated alloy and the 26" alloy wheels have stainless steel spokes. Both tires and tubes are puncture resistant. They feature front and rear V-brakes, a gel comfort saddle, suspension seat post, and variable pedal assist.
A Closer Look at Urban Mover Motorized Bicycles
This electric motorized bicycle is built for traditional riding or motor operation and is ideal for both trail and road. This 7 speed mountain bike has a 300W rear mounted brushless hub motor powered by seven, 8 amp lithium-ion batteries and has a maximum speed of 20 miles per hour and a maximum range of 20-25 miles.
This bike can operate exculsively via the motor, power assist, or pedal only. It has a key start, variable speed control, and twist throttle. It also features a 100% aluminum alloy frame, fully adjustable seat, hydraulic front for maximum shock absorption, head light, cargo rack, battery indicator, front and rear brakes, and horn.
This bike will support weight up to 350lbs and has a 7-10 year battery life.